Fast Break

Kurt —  February 9, 2006

Some thoughts from last night, including the Grammys:

• Is there a more confounding team in the NBA than the Lakers? They get crushed by the Hornets, a team they should beat. When you think they should fold in the second game of a back-to-back at the end of a long road trip, they come out with their best defensive performance in weeks and beat surging Houston. Don’t bet on this team, you just never know who will show up.

• That said, this win should be a springboard to a hot streak — the Lakers are coming home and only two of the next 10 games are against teams over .500. Using my stolen prediction system, they should go 7-3 in that span. Then again, see the paragraph above.

• Also, last night was a great example of the way the offense should work — Kobe saw a lot of early double-teams, he gave up the ball and other guys knocked down their shots. When the Rockets adjusted, Kobe had more room and took over in the third quarter. Defense was the key, but in terms of flow offense looked better as well.

• Brian Cook the last two games: shooting 75% (eFG%).

• The Grammys are the reason TiVo was invented. This is a three-and-a-half hour show of which you want to see 30-45 minutes. Basically, I just watched U2, Coldplay trying to be U2, a wild haired Bruce Springsteen trying to be Bob Dylan, and slowed down because it looked like Kanye West raided my wardrobe.

The thing that pissed me off, we had to sit through tons of performances — like Joss Stone singing Sly and the Family Stone, because, I guess, their names are the same — so they had to cut the Richard Pryor tribute due to running out of time. Thanks for that, way to honor the man.

Fast forwarding on TiVo is the key, I can’t imagine having to sit through that crap live.

• Kwame Brown was motivated against Houston and against Yao Ming — Kwame was a +12 and Ming -12, and that was a key part of the win. Chris in the comments questioned why Kwame is so inconsistent, and what I’ve seen this season confirms stories I was told “off the record” by people close to the Washington Wizards organization — I think it’s mental. When he’s really motivated and focused, as in Houston last night, he is a solid to good player. But that focus ebbs and flows, from game to game, week to week. He seems to lack a passion for the game so evident in not only Kobe and Turaif but also guys like Mihm (who has worked hard to improve his game) and Cook (same thing).

Kwame is the classic Ebby Calvin ‘Nuke’ LaLoosh “million dollar body and a five cent head” player.

• Best photo caption I’ve seen in a long time.

• Great to see Ronny Turiaf get on the court, even if it was a minute of garbage time.

• The Phil Jackson/Mark Cuban thing is a fun little mid-season distraction for everyone. Nothing more.

• While we’re way off topic, Kobe’s new Nike commercial debuts tonight. Don’t expect a review here, but I am curious to see it.